Many children in the Sud de Lanaudière territory who are eligible for the application of dental sealants to prevent tooth decay do not have access to the service due to school facility problems. Only 50% of the schools in the territory had adequate rooms available for providing sealants, and 25% of the targeted children in these schools received the application of sealants, given the limited time for accessing the facilities. In order to alleviate this problem, an innovative project was implemented, in collaboration with the Fondation du CSSSSL [Foundation of the Sud de Lanaudière Health and Social Services Centre] and the Commission scolaire des Affluents [Affluents School Board].
The Caravane Santé Jeunesse (CSJ) [Youth Health Caravan] is a converted recreational vehicle that makes it possible to transport a quality dental clinic from one school to another in order to reach a greater number of children at risk of dental problems, whose condition requires an application of sealants on molars. The sealing of molars is recognized as an effective intervention for preventing tooth decay in at-risk children. However, this service is not insured under the dental insurance plan of the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec [Quebec Health Insurance Board]. Thus, this service enables disadvantaged families to benefit from this preventive measure, which is provided free of charge by the Health and Social Service Centre (CSSS) dental hygienists to Grade 2 primary school children at risk for cavities. Inspired by European initiatives, such projects have been shown to increase access to services. The CSJ project helps to improve access to dental care for vulnerable and disadvantaged clients, thereby reducing inequalities associated with dental caries.
Since the implementation of the CSJ, we have been able to provide the dental sealant service to every school in the territory and also to reach all Grade 2 children at risk of cavities in a given school.
Title: Head of Administration, Youth Programs
Contact information: JULIE.GRAVEL@SSSS.GOUV.QC.CA